Wednesday 26 May 2010

Is the Church a Wax Nose?

This may seem like a strange question. However, I have to say that wherever I go there seems to be much confusion not only in Protestantism but in evangelicalism as to the purpose and plan of the church. For many, the church is treated like a 'wax nose'; something to be moulded into whatever shape people desire.

For some, this means the church is to be shaped around all-out evangelism, for others the church becomes a centre of social activity, while some leaders openly treat the church as a platform to fulfil their lustful desires for success, wealth or even fame.

My last article on this blog focussed on the three marks of the church. A friend of mine asked me to give more information recently and so I would like to direct the readers to a number of books to explore this matter of the church further.

These are;

John Calvin,The Institutes,Book IV, Chapters 1-3.
Edmund Clowney, The Church
R. B. Kuiper, The Glorious Body of Christ

May the importance of the church awaken in our hearts and minds. There is a clear apostolic plan laid down in the Scriptures for the doctrine, public worship, government and order of the Church of God. Therefore, the church should not be treated as a 'wax nose' to be shaped according to man's personal preferences. Note it is the 'church of God', not the 'church of man's organisation'; we must be cautious lest we face the judgement of God for treating the Church of Christ as ours.

May we all cry to the Lord, in all humility for a mighty awakening in the church, so that we comprehend the importance of the church to God, and his plan of redemption in the world. Here are a few key Bible verses in conclusion.

Matthew 16:17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it".

Colossians 1:18 And He [Christ] is the head of the body.

1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth.


Wayne said...

Is the Church a "Wax Nose" is an obvious YES!!! Even non Christians can say YES to your question. Its true you say "it's Gods Church not mans organisation". However, I say the Church is NOT an organisation but rather a living organism birthed by Christ for Christ. Jesus says; I will build my Church etc etc... Unless the Lord builds the House the labourers etc etc...
You mention in your article that many have used the Church for a platform to fullfill there lustfull desire for success, wealth or even fame. TRUE! Although they could never have accomplished this if the Children of God understood the difference between Heirarchy and Discipleship. Matt 20v25 is a clear guide to all who would desire the office of a bishop. Called to serve with the understanding that of course there are many gifts but the same Spirit who is at work in and through all. Lets remember that everything is a gift from God even the works we find ourselve walking in are the works of Christ perpared before hand for HIS Glory. Amen!

Hey Kevin, we would like to congratulate you on your graduation and your new TITLE Dr Bidwell lol... Welldone my brother and Love to all the family from the tribe:)

Kevin Bidwell said...

Many thanks for taking the time to publish your comments. Thank you also for your congratulations regarding the PhD. This made me sit back and reflect and give God glory ... it has been four years full-time theological study in preparation for the years ahead, by God's grace. The fuel tanks are refilled, my mind has been increasingly renewed and I love Christ today, more than ever.

My main aim in this all too brief blog comment was to highlight the importance of the church in God's plan. The previous article on the blog, explains what the Reformers considered to be to be a true church (the preaching of pure doctrine, the right administration of the sacraments and discipline).

Clearly we need to cry out to God, so that pure worship can be restored in our generation. For this to happen it will require people to understand the importance of faithful, commitment to a biblical church and the recovery of the Lord's Day (Sunday) as God's appointed day for worship.

Christ was raised from the dead on the first day of the week and this day has been appointed as blessed by the Lord; for public, private and family worship, along with rest from our earthly labours for the whole day. A gift from God!

Our love to your whole family.

Warmly as ever,

Kevin B